The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

What Are People Doing In the Cloud?

Matt’s experience at South by Southwest suggests that a lot of the big social networking companies actually don’t have (or won’t share) a whole lot of insight into what their users are doing on line, or how it’s changed their lives. But is this because their systems are too simple (they just host/carry what other folks are doing) or too complex (too much information, too much noise — they can’t monitor it all)?

Clive Thompson’s new article on netbooks and cloud computing suggests that it might be a little bit of both:

In The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton Christensen famously argued that true breakthroughs almost always come from upstarts, since profitable firms rarely want to upend their business models. “Netbooks are a classic Christensenian disruptive innovation for the PC industry,” says Willy Shih, a Harvard Business School professor who has studied both Quanta’s work on the One Laptop per Child project and Asustek’s development of the netbook…

A really powerful application like Adobe Photoshop demands a much faster processor [than a netbook’s]. But consider my experience: This spring, after my regular Windows XP laptop began crashing twice a day, I reformatted the hard drive. As I went about reinstalling my software, I couldn’t find my Photoshop disc. I forgot about it


In fact, the one Unix-y test that the iPhone fails is that its apps can’t talk to each other. Of course, neither can tabs in a browser window. In both cases, this is dumb, and bad — and smarter people than me need to figure out a good way to solve it. (It’s amazing that Apple, whose common applications really DO talk to each other amazingly well, hasn’t figured out a way to do this on the phone that’s secure, usable, resource-smart, and doesn’t crash the whole thing.)

Have you tried Google Chrome yet, Tim? I think it does the best job (so far) of getting out of the way — of making the browser sort of disappear. I could absolutely imagine a pretty functional netbook w/ no OS; just Google Chrome.

Chrome is great. I don’t use Windows much these days, but I basically pimped Safari 4 to work like Chrome, and then I’ve got Firefox-plus-extensions for most browsing. I also use Fluid to make an SSB for Gmail (and Facebook, but that’s less successful.)

But I love teeny client apps. Even Chrome is too much browser to do what Twitteriffic or Dropbox do; iTunes and Songbird are better for music; NetNewsWire/MarsEdit for reading/writing blogs, etc… (despite the fact that MarsEdit can’t talk to Movable Type to save its life…)

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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